Seville has a population of about 4 million and is the fourth largest city in Spain. It is the capital of Andalusia. Seville is considered one of the most beautiful and romantic cities of Spain. The city has many attractions that stand out for the cathedral and Moorish palace of Real Alcazar. The Old Town of Seville is the most visited. There is a maze of streets in the Santa Cruz Jewish Quarter, which has many bars, tapas restaurants, corridos and flamenco. Seville is a UNESCO-protected city. The Opera celebrated this city. Due to its exotic Moorish past and during the period of the romantic movement in the nineteenth century, many writers and composers placed their works in Seville. In Seville, 24 operas are happening more than anywhere else in the world.
The Seville Berberine (Rossini), Don Giovani (Mozart), Figar Pyrrh (Mozart) and Carmen (Bizet) are just some of the famous operas that take place in Seville. The fiery Carmen Roma has over time become a symbol of Seville. During their visit to Seville, lovers of opera can visit famous places (the Corridor or Tobacco Factory) that were otherwise viewed only in the theater.
In comparison to other Spanish cities, Seville is the only city that has been under Moorish rule for 500 years. Today, traces of Moorish Islamic rule are visible everywhere. Walking through Seville in some parts of the city you will see palm trees and Moorish architecture. During the 13th century Reconquista, the city fell under the rule of the Christian kings of Castile.
After the discovery of America, Seville experienced a boom. It was Europe’s main port of arrival for goods from the Spanish overseas colonies. The 15th and 16th centuries are considered the golden age of Seville.
Seville’s monopoly on trade with the New World lasted 200 years. Over time, the Guadalquivir River around which the city originated settled and the exit to the Atlantic was closed. Because of this, Seville has never industrialized, and has been “dormant” for the 20th century. 1992 The World Exhibition was held in Seville. Much of the city has been modernized and renovated.
The impressive building is the Cathedral of Seville which is the third in the world. After conquering the city from the Moors, the Spaniards built a new church on the site of the old mosque. The mosque was demolished to the ground (the yard with orange trees remained) and the minaret-Giralda (today’s bell tower).
There is no inner staircase but ramps supposedly so that a woman can climb a horse for a daily prayer call.
Outside, the cathedral is surrounded by fountains and fragrant orange trees. Its interior is the complete opposite. Like most churches and cathedrals, the interior is dark, cold and frightening. The main altar is covered with hundreds of gilded figures where the tomb of Cristofer Coloumbus is.
Across from the cathedral is the Real Alcazar (Royal Palace) the most beautiful building in the city. The palace was made by Moorish artists and architects for the Christian kings. They remained in Andalusia after the Reconquista. The palace complex consists of many halls, interior courtyards with fountains, terraced gardens with swimming pools that provide excellent refuge during the unbearable heat.
The Barrio Santa Cruz Jewish Quarter is a popular part of town. The layout is typically Spanish with a labyrinth of streets and small squares with pots on the walls.Cas de Pilatos (Pilate’s House) is located deeper in the neighborhood. It is a small Moorish-style palace with a small garden, courtyard and fountain. Director Ridley Scott filmed Kingdom of Heaven here for the preservation of the building.
There is a Plaza de Espana in Maria Luisa Park. It was built for the World Exhibition in 1929. The square is especially beautiful in the afternoon at sunset when lit by floodlights.
The NO8DO anagram is the main motto of the city that you will see everywhere in the city (on shafts, monuments, bus stops and the coat of arms). Anagram is a word game and in Spanish means “No me ha dejado”. (She didn’t leave me). The term comes from dynastic struggles when Seville sided with the rightful king whom his own son wanted to overthrow. In gratitude, Alfonso X (the rightful king) gave Seville the right to use the slogan used today.
One of the better art museums in Spain is the Museu de Bellas Artes (The Gold Tower) in Seville. It is located on the bank of the Guadalquivir River. You can visit the Tobacco Factory (now the university building) where Carmen worked, or the most famous corridor in Spain, according to the movie story.
After sunset, the traditional perception of the temperamental city of Seville as a city of flamenco and corridor comes to the fore. During the afternoon siesta, you can see only tourists in the streets. After sunset, the whole city comes to life, which lasts until the late afternoon or early morning. Seville has a large number of local food restaurants: Atlantic Seafood or Andalusian Sheri dishes.
During the Holy Week before Easter, Santa Semana’s most famous religious festival is held. The celebration in Seville is especially spectacular. At that time, numerous parades and processions were held in the city, in which the local population dressed in folk costumes and carried religious displays throughout the city. On Good Friday the cathedral is the largest procession weighing 3 tons and covered with gold. Men carry them on their backs throughout the city. Behind them comes an orchestra playing religious hymns. During the Santa Semana Festival, the city is full of tourists, so accommodation needs to be booked much earlier.
You can visit Seville privately or tune in to any of the options for visiting Andalusia or Portugal (Lisbon-Seville is 3.5 hours away), while Madrid is 2.5 hours away in one way by fast AVE train.